Nov 5-6Two enjoyable days spent in Memphis.  The first day we spent visiting Graceland.  $95 for us both and we were on the basic tour.  A very slick operation it was, with a shuttle bus to hustle us across to the mansion for an audio tour.  The house was not as large as we expected, but the decor was over the top 70s.  The living room was tasteful in white with some blue.  The famous Jungle Room den was full of green shag carpeting on the floor and the ceiling (for recording songs) with monkeys everywhere and heavy Polynesian style furniture.  Downstairs was a wild TV room with bright yellow and blue leather everywhere.  His planes were also part of the tour.  We enjoyed fried catfish sandwiches and a side of fried spaghetti – tasty Southern food.

The second day in Memphis we spent walking downtown.  We parked at the massive Bass Pro Shop built inside a pyramid with a hotel.  The rooms overlooked the inside of the store overlooking what was made to look like a swamp complete with full-sized boats, fish and ducks!  An elevator shaft surrounded by like crocodiles went up the pyramid.  It was very cool.  

Downtown we visited the Peabody Hotel which also had live ducks in the lobby fountain.  The Gibson guitar factory was not doing tours, but we had a look around at the shop selling beautiful guitars for up to $6000.  The next stop was the Lorraine Motel where Martin Luther King was assassinated.  This motel was kept original and is now part of the Civil Rights Museum.  A walk along Beale Street reminds us of Vegas with eateries, neon lights, and drinks to go.  There is not much going on in the afternoon, but I am sure things change at night with lots of blues music. Although the economy is suffering in Memphis with lots of empty storefronts and rundown buildings, we found the people very friendly – everyone said “hello” or “how are you doing”.

Nov 7-8 Two days spent in Nashville.  We visit the Grand Ole Opry Ryman Auditorium and take a tour.  This is known as the Mother Church of Country and the show was produced here from 1943 to 1974.  In the winter months, the Opry still returns here.  We walk along the Broadway honky tonks,  where every eatery or bar has live country music competing with its neighbor.  Lots of stuff going on here!  Day 2 takes us to the newer Grand Ole Opry – a much larger venue.  This is next to Gaylord Opryland Resort.  This is a beautiful hotel with its 2800 rooms all opening onto a lush tropical garden under a glass roof.  There are water features among the gardens with boat rides along the canals.  There are lots of entertainment venues at this resort and shopping galore.  Decorating is underway for Christmas already!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *